A very useful Web-based tool called the Global Powder Metallurgy Database now exists to search properties for nearly 2,500 powder metals. The database has been created by parts manufacturers and powder producers across the world through three trade associations: the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), the European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA), and the Japan Powder Metallurgy Association (JPMA). You an find detailed mechanical, physical and fatigue properties for materials identified by ISO or MPIF code. Materials include structural steels, stainless steels, soft magnetic alloys, bearings, and nonferrous. Once you discover grades with acceptable properties, the Web site guides you to specific contacts at suppliers. Data can be downloaded as Excel or FEA software files. Data for metal injection molding was added last year. Use of the database is free, but registration is required.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
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